The Simon Barrow Column

Reflecting on how Christian political imagination can help change society's agenda. Follow Simon on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/simonbarrow

  • 1 Aug 2007

    Gordon Brown will be less overt in his faith agenda and less establishment in his church instincts, suggests Simon Barrow. But religion and public life will remain hot political issues.

  • 30 Jul 2007

    Religiously constructed rows over sorcery, metaphor and meaning in Harry Potter are hardly new, as Simon Barrow has personal reason to know. He suggests we all chill out and finding meaning not menace in the narrative.

  • 21 Jul 2007

    At the root of death-dealing religion and ideology is fear, says Simon Barrow. The biggest challenge we face today is how to challenge cultures of death from within, replacing the logic of the sword with an invitation to life.

  • 14 Jul 2007

    An easy assumption that religion is less dangerous when it is 'less religious' is wrong, says Simon Barrow. As an article in the International Herald Tribune points out, the path from death to life is found within as well as beyond each tradition.

  • 14 Jul 2007

    Gordon Brown, artfully manoeuvred into Downing Street, will have little room to operate in for the social justice agenda. But what space there is will be created by the power of imagination, says Simon Barrow. Look at the example of Northern Ireland.

  • 16 Jun 2007

    The determination of some religious and anti-religious people to blame each other for the world's evils is part of a damaging drift to fanaticism, argues Simon Barrow. What we all need is self-critique and hopefulness.

  • 14 Jun 2007

    What is really at stake in the row between Sony and Manchester Cathedral over a violent video game? Simon Barrow looks at it in terms of Christendom, 'redemptive violence', image as commodity and the onset of the hyperreal.

  • 3 Jun 2007

    To some the doctrine of the Trinity looks to be modern Christianity's achilles heel in a rationalistic age, but Simon Barrow argues that it points to the coherence of God-talk as well as the challenges the Gospel poses.

  • 5 May 2007

    Simon Barrow says that party politics may have blurred but the role of religious and non-religious beliefs can still elicit a lively debate.

  • 27 Apr 2007

    Simon Barrow suggests that how the churches see their engagement with culture, including spaces like the BBC's Thought for The Day, is shaped by the question about how God has been turned into an artefact under Christendom.

  • 27 Apr 2007

    The church looking for ‘God slots’ in relation to culture is like religion seeking a ‘God of the gaps’ in relation to science: a huge mistake. The Gospel points us elsewhere.

  • 18 Apr 2007

    Simon Barrow asks how we can regain and sense of proportion, love and justice in arguments about the Bible and many other things in church and public life.

  • 16 Apr 2007

    Simon Barrow gives an overview of three scholarly contributions by Kenneth Cragg, perhaps the world's leading interpreter of the relations between the Semitic faiths and their encounters with Western culture.

  • 15 Apr 2007

    Easter is awkward for the church, because its revolutionary message leaves it nowhere to hide religiously, politically or intellectually, argues Simon Barrow.

  • 21 Mar 2007

    Simon Barrow says that the idea of 'religious liberals' being foils for bombers and bigots is a distorted and distorting notion produced by too much heat and not enough light.